Rare Rolex watch could fetch millions at Christie’s auction

Watch collectors around the world will engage in a bidding war on Nov. 8 for Rolex Deep Sea Special Number 1, one of the rare Rolexes, at Christie’s Rare Watch Auction in Geneva.

Developed as a prototype to perfect the Rolex diver’s watch concept, the watch was attached to the hull of the Trieste bathyscaphe of Swiss physicist, inventor and explorer Auguste Piccard for the first deep-sea test at a depth of 3,150 meters in the Mediterranean on September 30. 1953. At the time, the watch was just a prototype of Rolex’s diver’s watch concept.

The watch then served as the basis on which Rolex developed the Deep Sea Special No. 3 which was attached to the Trieste when it took an expedition to reach 1 km below sea level in the Mariana Trench on January 23. 1960. The Rolex Deep Sea Le Special N°3 is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

“To have a Holy Grail watch like this Deep Sea Special Number 1 prototype available is a dream come true in many ways and for so many watch enthusiasts, Rolex fans and connoisseurs around the world,” said Rémi. Guillemin, Head of Watches. , Christie’s Geneva.

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According to a Christie’s press release, a total of seven Deep Sea Special prototypes were made between 1953 and 1960. Of the batch, only three have been identified — Deep Sea Special No. 1 with ‘low glass’ (in plexiglass) which accompanied Trieste on its first deep sea trial up to 3,150 meters (10,245 ft) off the island of Ponza in 1953; the Deep Sea Special N°3 with a ‘high glass’ (a higher and thicker crystal, also in Plexiglas, one of the precious lessons of N°1) which made the trip to the bottom of the Mariana Trench ( 10,916 meters, 35,814 feet) in 1960 and finally the Deep Sea Special N°5, also in a ‘high glass’ version.

Among these three rare watches, the Deep Sea Special N°5 was offered at auction by Christie’s in 2000, and the Deep Sea Special N°3, which was used for the expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trough, is out of scope. because he sits (with Trieste) at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. So currently, the Deep Sea Special N°1 is the only watch available.

Christie’s didn’t release any pre-sale estimate for the watch, but it’s expected to be in the millions of dollars.

The most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction was in 2017, known as the Paul Newman watch. It was given to the actor by his wife. The watch was sold for $17.75 million.

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